tv [untitled] July 8, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PDT
supervisor chu: with regard to the budget analyst recommendations, they are recommending the cuts based on historic spending levels. >> i believe when they look at our budget, and they see we have not extended those dollars, they recommend reducing or eliminating those dollars. while i appreciate it, i am not a fan of use it or lose it. some years, we're not able to use all of our dollars because we're focused on other things. sometimes our maintenance agreements fluctuate. i do not believe cutting our budget in this area because we did not spend it in the previous fiscal year is pretty. supervisor chu: so, what about this year would convince me that you are going to spend at this level? what is it? >> we have many maintenance agreements related to our
equipment, to the new data center of equipment. a lot of the aging equipment around the city. again, because we are highly decentralized, a lot of departments have not maintained the equipment's -- equipment. date usually gets -- they usually get a one or three year maintenance agreements when they buy new equipment. when they fail, they look to partner with us to help them replace their equipment or place it under maintenance of the systems do not fail. supervisor chu: thank you. budget analyst? >> madam chair, members of the committee, our recommendations that we provided last week totaled 1,460,008 $67.
we're recommending cuts of 1,000,003481 $47. mr. ian hart will briefly go over the disagreements. they recommend approximately 70% of the reductions in this department. this department' recovers nine items in need -- in the general fund, but the department is basically disagreement with 75% of our recommended cuts. >> madam chair, members of the committee -- just to step through our reductions. on page 80, with regard to training, the department was allocated $16,950 for training
in the current year. it is projected to spend less in the current year. therefore, we are recommending a reduction of $12,950, which is still low. it is above what is projected for next year. on page 81, in the past three fiscal years, the department has underexpended maintenance service agreements by over $1 million. the current fiscal year, that is also the case. the mayor's office has recommended $80,000 for this line item. the additional reduction would still allow for $1.8 million on this line item in 2011-2012.
that, in addition to the line items before you, there are additional budgetary line items. in the past come up with regard to other current expenses, also on page 81, the department has expanded the line-item in 2008, 2009, and is projected to do so again in 2010-2011. are recommended reduction of $145,246 would still lau for approximately $3.6 million -- would still allow for approximately $3.6 million in the program next year. on page 82, the department is projected to expend approximately $9,000 on air travel in the current year. they expended this line item for
this year as well. finally, on page 83, in the past three the school years, the department has not spent more than $111,983 on this line item. with recommended -- we have recommended a reduction that would still allow for $140,000 for training next year. we feel that is a reasonable amount given the last four years. i am happy to take any additional questions. supervisor chu: thank you. i do have a question. i know we've been asking the department of technology to really take a look at other
opportunities to get the city for all departments on the same track with e-mail and other things. if we were to take these reductions, what would that do to that process? >> thank you, madame chair. i agree. the department of technology is about to take a leadership position in moving forward some of the strategic initiatives around consolidation, working together, finding ways citywide for folks to come up with solutions that do not replicate procurements as solutions. it is hard to say at this level of production where we would be. what i can say, when we agreed to doing eight of the 10 strategic initiatives, we did not anticipate these additional cuts. there will be some impact if you decided to take these additional recommendations from the budget analyst. we would have to reassess how many exactly we could continue to support.
we have been cut back the last three or four years fairly significantly. we are a bare bones operation. at this point, at this level of cuts, though perhaps necessary, would be significant to us and we would have to frankly ss our leadership -- frankly reassessed our leadership position on some of these things. not to belabor the point, but every i.t. investment we make around the city is dependent on the central i.t. department to be successful. when we hear all these projects that people would like to implement, we want to be supportive of those, but because of our decentralized nature, we need to have a certain level of agility, of funding availability, so when other departments have large projects, we can make the changes we need to on our side for this project to be successful. to be frank, at this level of
cuts, we would have to come back to you with your approval and perhaps put more definition to where we would have to scale back, perhaps in our leadership role strategically, or perhaps to where we are supporting some of the other department's activities. supervisor chiu: colleagues, i wanted to share my own perspectives on this issue, given this is something i've been thinking about for some time. i am often a significant critic of what our city is doing with regards to information technology. we are often asking the department of technology to do a lot more for less. to provide a little context to our other colleagues on the board, and in years past, i have often talked about the tenures of reports that our city has conducted on the city -- the 10
years of reports that our city has conducted on the city's i.t. expenses. mayor willie brown said that it was important invest in centralization. this is a conclusion we have come to over the past 10 years. unfortunately, in san francisco, unlike other organizations comparable to the city and county of san francisco or you have the two-thirds of your resources in i.t. -- where you have two-thirds of your resources in i.t., and the rest of your resources disperse in specialized departments, we've done exactly the opposite in san francisco. the vast majority of our resources are decentralized among different departments, and that has led to, i think, the
frustrating situations with i.t. in san francisco, as well as the frustrations many of us have had with the department of technology. i do think that continuing to start i.t. in the way -- continuing to starve i.t. any way that we have been doing is not the way to proceed. i would suggest we not move forward with the final amounts. i think if we want the department to finish the e-mail consolidation project, the server consolidation project, bringing the enterprise contracts together, all of the things we recently signed off on me and in the five-year capital planning process, we have to make sure that d.t. has the resources to do it. this is potentially a situation where we could be penny wise, but pound foolish. i would forced perspective that we should support dept.'s recommendations. supervisor chu: supervisor kim?
supervisor kim: thank you. for me, i understand the argument, but i want to have a better understanding of how training, air flights, and some of the material supplies and equipment would actually help the department to that consolidation work we've asked them to and take on the goals we have asked them to? i understand budgetary cuts will prevent the department from doing some of the things it is supposed to do, but it is not clear to me how these cuts actually impact that work. so, if i could get more information on that, that would be helpful. also, seeing that we're in the center of a lot of this technology and innovations in the country, i really question flying around to other areas to get support and professional development on technology. i do not understand why we would need to leave the bay area for any of that.
>> i can respond to some of that. the training is twofold raley. -- really. we need to keep our staff at the same level of knowledge as other departments we're working in partnership with. also to your point, supervisor kim, it is important to keep our staff at the same training level as the people around as. travel -- if your recommendation would be to reduce the air travel budget significantly, perhaps we could bring more people into the city rather than us going to visit them? the reality of our job is we support a very broad technology -- right now, we do have to go visit. we have not taken advantage of that in the past as much as we
should have. i like your idea that perhaps we should bring more people into the city to share knowledge with us. perhaps we could agree with the budget analyst recommendation on reducing the air travel portion. i do feel strongly about the training. i feel it is very important. our work force has been reduced to the level where it is important to me to feel like every one of our staff is trained at the best level possible. maybe we can find ways to do that in a more cost-effective manner. i would very much like to see continued investment in training city staff. supervisor chu: thank you for your answer. do you have any other questions, supervisor kim? supervisor kim: i think i would just like to continue this and get a better understanding of how these cuts with impact -- would impact d.t.'s ability to
make the changes would all like to see. supervisor chu: maybe i didn't make a recommendation. we take -- maybe i can make a recommendation. we take the cuts recommended, but with regard to the remaining items, i believe supervisor kim post some concerns with regard to the travel component of the recommendations? supervisor kim: actually, for all of the recommended adjustments from the budget analyst report. at would just like to see how they actually connected to work we would like d.t. to do this year. i would like them to be more specific. which schools would impact and why? supervisor chu: it looks like there is a desire to see more information. colleagues, from my perspective, i am fine was holding off until thursday to make this final
decisions, but i would express but i do feel supervisor chiu articulated very clearly the rationale for not continuing to star of a department -- to starve a department. i would be generally supportive of not taking those cuts that supervisor chiu articulated. i am ok with told and often as pieces until thursday. if i can and, if we could, let's take action on the items that do not have any disagreement. we will take action on the $295,105, and we will leave the $800,000 and the thursday. thank you.
the ethics department. this is a department we did hear from briefly last week. this is a department that we did ask the budget analyst to go back and see if they could provide some brief information on, a particular because we do have a significant pot of money in the mayor's campaign fund, a public campaign funds that are in there, so it is worthwhile to cover that and have a budget analyst report on them. >> thank you, madame chair, supervisors. we did work with the legislative analyst's office, and they did complete the review. also, you requested a breakdown of how we expect public financing expenditures in 2012 to pan out. i did forward the document to all of you with that breakdown. the only other thing i would
highlights while i am here today, last week, i told you the total funds distributed under the public financing program was $1,674,000, and in the seven days since i gave you that figure, an additional $826,869 has been distributed in the last week, bringing us up, that much closer to our estimate. i do not know we will hit the $3.1 million by this thursday, but we're going to come very close. at this point, we are just over $2.5 million in expenditures for this fiscal year on the mural public finance program. supervisor chu: with regards to the campaign fund, we have a balance sitting there that will
be carrying forwardthe mayor's s an additional amount in the budget as well. to the extent that, come november, after the mayor's race is completed, and all the public drawdowns have been completed and verified, if there is a huge remaining balance, is there any provision to allow us to bring that back into the general fund? >> there is actually two ways you can deappropriate those funds, directly through the mayor's office or an act of the board. the amount i am proposing would be leftover. circumstances being what they are, it is difficult to make an exact prediction. but we are anticipating that out of that $3.5 million, we would need about $900,000 for the
following board of supervisors. supervisor chu: supervisor wiener? supervisor wiener: i assume you are using pretty conservative calculations? >> i think we're being conservative in the ability of the leading candidates to raise $400,000 is reasonable. id is not certain. and then the ability of -- it is not certain. in any ability in the past has been reasonable, but not certain. in the mayoral race, we're doing the best we can. in the board race, we least have something to go on. supervisor wiener: so, under your estimates, using fairly conservative assumptions, after we finished the mayor's race, there will be $3.5 million left
in the fund, and you will need the best part of $1 million, $900,000, for 2012, so that would be about $2.5 million. >> a little bit more than that. supervisor wiener: what is the policy rationale for leaving a sum of money that large above and beyond what we expect to use for the mayoral and for the first half of next year, for the supervisory -- given that we have so many services ranging from use the service to trees or roads that are facing major budget efficiency is it? >> also, the policy decisions are in your hands to make.
i believe the founders had in their vision a separate fund that would be capped in that it is more attractive to the candidates in the future to participate in public financing should they know the money is already there, rather than being dependent on future operations. i think that is the rationale. supervisor wiener: i understand the pleading the fund to zero -- depleting the fund to zero could have issues erratic, but perhaps that portion could be used for other purposes? >> our experience with the mayor's office is, those times when we were concerned there would not be and out, it did happen on one occasion. there was a very swift supplemental appropriation. obviously, this $4.2 million
restoration is an attempt to meet that obligation. again, the process has been there. supervisor chu: thank you. given the budget analyst report, showing $3 million or so, there is no way to have that reallocated to any general fund except to actively appropriate from the department, correct? >> madam chair, member from the budget analyst at's office asks supervisor wiener a question. each year, there is an appropriation of two -$75,000 per resident in the city. in prior years, the mayor had
deappropriated funds from the balance. the current budget we institutes funds previously taken out of this budget to make them whole. at this point, there was a supplemental appropriation of $3 million just a few months ago, an additional appropriation this year. right now, with what is in the budget, they are completely whole in this fund. if any funds are reduced, there would be protected about $3.5 million fund balance at the end of the fiscal year, 2011-2012, at the department projections are correct. you should know if any funds are taken out, they would have to be restored in the future. supervisor wiener: it effectively would be a loan from
the fund? >> correct. in essence. and that is what has happened in the past. because there was not an election and there was not a need for the funds in that year. the mayor had taken funds of the budget. but now the budget is made whole. supervisor wiener: right, and i understand the way the system is designed, it can lead to potential over-appropriation into the fund well beyond what is needed. at the same time, we are making devastating cuts to health, human services, roads, trees, rec and park, all these other areas and we are accruing a larger and larger balance. that is one reason why i did not approve the $3.1 million supplemental appropriation. i did not believe that was the
right way to go. as the director noted, i remember when there was a deficit in the fund, and the board of supervisors may be supplemental appropriation to ensure the candidates would receive what they were entitled to in financing. it is really a balance about making sure we are allocating our money appropriately, while still being committed to public financing. supervisor chu: thank you. mr. rose? >> manager, actually we have no other comments. as the department indicated, we do not have any recommendations. supervisor chu: thank you. thank you for the report. given that we know the conservative estimates may add a balance of $3.5 million after this year's election and every year thereafter we will necessarily be putting in another $2.2 million because of the mandatory $2.75 per
resident, we get to where we will have $12 million again in the year 2016, where hypothetically we will have an incumbent mayor. at some point, we do need to evaluate the levels of funding we are putting in their. we had not had a mayor's race yet. this will be the first mayor's race we will see. maybe that will be informative going for. supervisor wiener: it will be $9,900,000 for next year's supervisors' races. that leaves us with $2.6 million. then we will automatically put another $1.7 million, or what ever that number is -- $2 per resident. , atwood -- how much would that be?
>> about $2 million. supervisor wiener: then we would automatically put another $2 million in, bringing us up to $4.5 million. there would there would be some drawdown, but presumably not more than $500,000 or $1 million, or whatever. then we will not have it may years race for three more years. i am just trying to get my head around why we -- i guess the system is what it is, but it encourages an extreme over creation, well beyond what we actually need to publicly financed these races. >> man? -- may i? obviously, you are the policy maker. it is your decision. the only humbled request i have is the whatever funds you do
draw down, you commit to putting them back at the time we need them. supervisor wiener: believe me, i am not suggesting that we somehow deplete the fund. it would have to be done in very collaborative process with the ethics commission. >> and it has been a collaborative all along. supervisor chu: thank you. again, it does raise questions about the program and how we fund it and whether there is a mechanism we can deploy in the future to be able to draw down if the balance is overly funded, so that is something for another time, but thank you for coming in. ok, colleagues, i think those are all the departments that we have today. we had a few items before us. i believe items one, two need to be continued to wednesday. can we do that without objection? ok.
items three, four -- can we continue these through thursday? which is the final day of the budget conversations here at the committee. can we do that without objection? >> [inaudible] we cannot put out a new agenda, so you could reset the date meeting to thursday if you would like. supervisor chu: ok, we will do that. and then we have already dispensed with item five. we have moved items 6 and 7 to the full board already. item eight, if we continue that to thursday. without objection? thank you. do we have any other items before us? >> that completes the agenda. supervisor chu: